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Seen This Time Article On The Dixie Chicks?

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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-23-06 01:25 AM
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Seen This Time Article On The Dixie Chicks?
Edited on Tue May-23-06 01:26 AM by Syrinx
It's a couple days old, but I just ran across it.

As a high school senior in Lubbock, Texas, she'd skip a class a day in an attempt to prove that because she never got caught and some Mexican students did, the system was racist. After Maines joined the Dixie Chicks, and the Dixie Chicks became the biggest-selling female group in music history--with suspiciously little cash to show for it--she and her bandmates told their record label, Sony, they were declaring themselves free agents. (In the high school that is Nashville, this is way worse than skipping class.) Now that she's truly notorious, having told a London audience in 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas," Maines has one regret: the apology she offered George W. Bush at the onset of her infamy. "I apologized for disrespecting the office of the President," says Maines. "But I don't feel that way anymore. I don't feel he is owed any respect whatsoever."

One product of their decade together is that the Chicks are loose with pronouns (they use I and we interchangeably) and agree on almost everything, although the ways they agree can be revealing. When the conversation turns to childhood pets and I mention a beloved one-eyed dog, they all make empathetic faces, but Maguire, 36, gets teary, Robison, 33, laughs at her sister's sensitivity, and Maines, 31, says she would have poked around the empty socket "just to check it out." On Iraq, Maguire begins, "The night we sent missiles over ..." while Maines prefers, "When we bombed the s___ out of ..."

Country Music Television (CMT) has conducted numerous focus groups on the band. "And they're all a great study in the American psyche," says Brian Philips, the channel's executive vice president. "What comes up over and over again is, 'It would have been one thing if they'd said it on American soil, but it's the fact that they said it in Europe that really sets me off!'" There's an accusation of cowardice in there--although Maines insists, "I said it there 'cause that's where I was"--but if the way Philips draws out the syllables in Europe is to be believed, there's also a more personal grievance, an uneasy cocktail of resentment and abandonment. As Tim McGraw, one of the few vocal Democrats in country, and the only major artist who would speak on the record about the Dixie Chicks, says, "You've got to remember this is a family skirmish, and it's possible there's more than one thing going on."

That's a bit much, but you probably won't hear a better adult pop album this year. Musically, Taking the Long Way is full of swaggering country-tinged rock hooks--like a peak Eagles record, except without the misogyny and drug references and the advice to Take It Easy. Instead the songs aspire to do what the best pop always does, function as a smart expression of its creators' lives while remaining accessible to its listeners'. There are allusions to the recent past--on the jubilant opener The Long Way Around ("It's been two long years now/ Since the top of the world came crashing down") and the breakup song Everybody Knows ("I swore they'd never see me cry/ You'd never see me cry")--but they're only obvious if you look for them. Bitter End is a sing-along about fair-weather friends (the group fell out with a few lefty rockers who, amazingly, felt cheated of the nation's opprobrium) and even Lullaby is the rare song about kids well crafted enough that the childless could mistake it for a love song. And as things begin to sag a bit in Long Way's final third, the album delivers a knockout, So Hard, the first pop song in memory about infertility (Maguire and Robison conceived by in vitro fertilization) and also the catchiest, most complicated love song on the record.,8816,11964...
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